Guest Post: James Morrow Interviews Himself on THE ASYLUM OF DR. CALIGARI…

MorrowJ-Author&BigfootSeveral prepublication reviews of your new novella note that it’s “inspired” by the famous German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Must a reader have seen that 1920 silent movie to appreciate your book?

I always wanted my use of the Caligari mythos to stand on its own, wholly independent of the movie. The basic narrative, a satire on war profiteering, has nothing to do with Robert Wiene’s celebrated cinematic experiment. That said, a familiarity with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will help readers to get some of my book’s references and allusions. I suppose my project is somewhat like the game Charles Frazier played in Cold Mountain with The Odyssey and John Updike played in Roger’s Version with The Scarlet Letter. Continue reading

Upcoming: CENTRAL STATION by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)

Tidhar-CentralStation2Ok, I already have this, and featured it in a Books Received post a couple months back. But, today Tachyon unveiled that superb new cover, above, for Lavie Tidhar’s highly-anticipated new book, Central Station. It’s comprised of a series of novellas/short stories, stitched together to create a larger story. It sounds fantastic and, while the previous cover was also really nice, now it also looks magnificent. Here’s the synopsis:

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Central Station is due out in May 2016. Tachyon have also shared a pair of travel posters for Central Station, which are rather fantastic:

Tidhar-CentralStation-Posters

New Books (Jan)

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A post-Christmas and New Year smorgasbord of awesome has come flooding in, these past couple of weeks. On top of that, there have been some I’ve bought myself (I got a lot of wonderful book vouchers and Amazon credit, this year…).

Featuring: Tim Akers, Robert Jackson Bennett, Rob Boffard, Terry Brooks, Lindsey Davis, Liz de Jager, Christopher Farnsworth, Matt Gallagher, Carol Goodman, Thomas Christopher Greene, Louisa Hall, Glen Erik Hamilton, Joanne Harris, Kristopher Jansma, Richard Kadrey, Mike Lawson, Tim Lebbon, Patrick Lee, Jill Lepore, Sean McFate & Bret Witter, China Miéville, Megan Miranda, Simon Morden, Anthony O’Neill, Adam O’Fallon Price, Camille Perri, Heidi Pitlor, Matthew Quirk, Richard Russo, Lawrence M. Schoen, A.F.E. Smith, Christopher Sorrentino, Gav Thorpe, Lavie Tidhar, Glen Weldon, Jonathan Wood Continue reading

Review: FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson (Tachyon)

HopkinsonN-FallingInLoveWithHominidsA new anthology of short stories

Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring, Skin Folk) has been widely hailed as a highly significant voice in Caribbean and American fiction. She has been dubbed “one of our most important writers,” (Junot Diaz), with “an imagination that most of us would kill for” (Los Angeles Times), and her work has been called “stunning,” (New York Times) “rich in voice, humor, and dazzling imagery” (Kirkus), and “simply triumphant” (Dorothy Allison).

Falling in Love with Hominids presents more than a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print, including one original story. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Carribean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

I typically read short fiction for one of two reasons, either it’s an author whom I love, and I’ve devoured everything else of theirs so I dig into their short-form stuff, or it’s an author whom I’ve never read before and I want to sample their work without trying to pick out a full-length book to start with. The latter was the case with Nalo Hopkinson’s Falling in Love with Hominids. Hopkinson is an author who’s been on my radar for a while now, so when the opportunity came along to check out her yet-to-be-released short fiction collection I jumped at the chance. Continue reading

New Books (May)

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Featuring: Michael Arnold, Rob Boffard, Mike Brooks, James L. Cambias, Wesley Chu, John Henry Clay, James S.A. Corey, Cindy Dees, Bill Flippin, David Hair, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nalo Hopkinson, Andrew Michael Hurley, N.K. Jemisin, Chuck Klosterman, Gayle Lynds, K.M. McKinley, David Mitchell, Keith Richards, Slash, Bradley Somer, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Mick Wall, Django Wexler, Bill Willingham Continue reading

New Books: March #1

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Or, “Lordy, 2015 is shaping up to be an incredible year for books…”

Featuring: John Joseph Adams, Richard Beard, Paul Beatty, Patricia Briggs, Col Buchanan, John Connelly, Rjurik Davidson, Joshua Gaylord, Dave Gross, Kazuo Ishiguro, Edan Lepucki, Robert Levy, Tom Lloyd, George R.R. Martin & Gardener Dozois, Stephen Metcalfe, Kristen Painter, Alastair Reynolds, Kim Stanley Robinson, V.E. Schwab, Lavie Tidhar, Marc Turner Continue reading

Second Look: THE GREAT BAZAAR and BRAYAN’S GOLD by Peter V. Brett (Tachyon)

Tachyon Publications will be releasing a new edition of Peter V. Brett‘s first two Demon Cycle novellas, The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold on July 14th, 2015. Naturally, this means new cover art, too (above), so I thought I would re-post my original review from 2011. I’ve updated the review just a little, given that I have since read The Desert Spear and The Daylight War, which I hadn’t at the time. If you’ve been reading CR for a while, you’ll be familiar with the fact that I love Brett’s writing and the series is easily one of my favourites, across all genres. The series is published in the US by Del Rey and in the UK by Voyager. The fourth book in the series, The Skull Throne, is due to be published at the end of March 2015. And I really can’t wait…

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Brett-GreatBazaar&BrayansGold-US2015Two short stories set in the world of the Demon Cycle

From the dangerous world of the Demon Cycle comes the early adventures of Arlen, Peter V. Brett’s quintessential fantasy hero. These exciting origin tales follow Arlen as he learns to navigate a world where the elemental forces of evil conjure themselves from the earth each night.

Humanity has barely survived a demonic onslaught by using magical wards that protect their cities and homes. Only a handful of mercenaries and explorers risk traveling after the sun sets. Arlen, seeking adventure and fortune, is barely protected by the warded armor upon which he has inscribed intricate defensive runes. From a journey ferrying a wagonload of dynamite to a mountain stronghold, to a dangerous mission to recover desert treasures, Arlen faces friends and enemies with a strong arm and a cunning wit.

I won’t give any more synopsis before the break, as I don’t want to offer any spoilers for new readers. So, if you haven’t read The Painted Man(The Warded Man in the US), then I recommend you go an do that immediately, before diving into these.

In this eBook, we get a pair of short stories focussing on one of the main characters from The Painted Man, Arlen Bales. Both of the stories have been released previously as limited editions by Subterranean Press, and are so rare that they’re now selling for $400 in some places! Thankfully, the eBook is way more affordable, so I snapped it (and The Desert Spear) up for my Kindle as soon as I finished The Painted Man.

A superb, short foray back into the world, I really enjoyed reading about Arlen and his early adventures again. These two stories are perfect for fans who need a fix before the next book’s release. Continue reading